Introduction, Casey Jones, Cold Rain And Snow, Mama Tried, (T.C. plays Bach), Yellow Dog Story, Dire Wolf, It Hurts Me Too, China Cat Sunflower > Jam > I Know You Rider, Black Peter > Me And My Uncle, Hard To Handle, Dark Star > St. Stephen > The Eleven > Cumberland Blues Morning Dew, Next Time You See Me > Sittin In Top Of The World, Beat It On Down The Line, Big Boss Man, Good Lovin' > Drums > Good Lovin', High Time, Dancing In The Streets, Easy Wind, Cryptical Envelopment > Drums > The Other One > Cryptical Envelopment > Cosmic Charlie
A very good mono audience recording supplies the first ~75 minutes of this show, up until the final verse of Dark Star. The recording was stopped in between most songs, and only the first few notes of a few songs are clipped. A somewhat degraded SBD supplies the rest of the show. There are several small portions of this SBD that have level/channel problems.
Sound Forge was used for editing: slight pitch correction for both sources, smoothing cuts, patching dropouts, normalizing, and removal of many pops that were present on the SBD portion, presumably from a PCM transfer.
---d/o @ 0:55 in Me & My Uncle patched with SBD
---d/o @ 3:36 in Dark Star patched with SBD
---splice @ 5:20 of The Eleven
---splice in Good Lovin' @ 5:45 during drum solo
---channel fluctuations at end of Good Lovin'
---channel problems for first 2:39 of Easy Wind
---right channel fluctuates at end of drums, just before O1 intro
---splice @ 5:30 of The Other One
I believe the SBD was mastered on cassette, though most lineages seem to be listed as a reel master. The frequent mix problems, varying pitch/speed, and lack of trademark reel-to-reel zip-outs during cuts strongly support this being a cassette master.
November 13, 2020 Subject:
Writing with fingers of gold
6 shows, two per night, at a West Hollywood club simply called "Thelma", on the Sunset Strip (it was not a theater). These are the two middle shows. The early show was brilliantly captured on a mono, handle-end cassette player, by a cat freshly back from 'Nam. Its sound surpasses the late show SBD, recorded by Owsley, but which has technical issues (nothing above 8k, for one). Thelma existed for just a couple months and somebody probably lost their ass booking this band in such a small room, when they still weren't a big draw in L.A. county. Maybe it was a vanity booking. It's amazing they got all their gear to load in (two drum kits, big amps, etc.).
First Show. The first few are just getting the feel; warming up. After Mama Tried, Constanten plays the Allemande from French Suite #1. Dire Wolf is an understated version - these all sound extremely relaxed, at the cost of liveliness. That changes with China Cat>Rider, followed by the fifth-ever Black Peter. On the latter I dig how Jer sticks with his jam @1:56>4:09, just in case he finds something sitting in a corner. The next couple are average '69, but this is a Dark Star needing several spins. In a year with over 65, I'm cautiously objective with recommending the top ten or so, but this is worthy. It starts typically, perhaps, then @6:30 they become John Cage. It must have worked - sounds like a rapt audience in the quiet. Then there's a weird, TC-influenced section @9:00, a Sputnik @10mins, and a sudden Feelin' Groovy @11:40. It's brief, as Phil hangs on, but Jer goes elsewhere. The rest is just classic '69 D.S. The Eleven is a perfect version: tight and with lots of Phil virtuosity. It has an amazing seg into Cumberland. With that they are out of alloted time and have to turn the house.
Second Show. Unfortunately SBD fidelity is lesser, because this would otherwise be a well-noted Morning Dew (the tape speeds up a little, partway). On Next Time You See Me, the solo is Pig, then Jer, then both weave around each other; brief but so good. You have to listen close to Sittin' on Top of the World, but good gods this is a smoker. For Beat it On Down the Line-21, Phil wants 35. Jer says he "can't stand past 3". Pig wants 59, then says "21 because you can usually win with it". The rest is average '69 until the finish. Good Lovin' has a reel flip cut, after which the pitch speeds up slightly. High Time was only barely recorded. Dancing in the Streets loses all of its tempo by the finish. The TiftOO Suite into Cosmic Charlie is a fine night's conclusion. They almost play UJB (which had only been played once in its complete version) or Cumberland before bowing to curfew.
Early show: B- Late Show: C+
Overall (both) = 3¼ stars
Highlights (from both):
Dark Star - Cage's groovy Sputnik is TC'd
The Eleven - Phil virtuosity plus
Morning Dew - fried fidelity but fab
Next Time You See Me - Pig plays off Jer
Sittin' on Top of the World - good gods
SOURCES: The cotsman_8998 is the original composite that used to circulate. The 140676_partial_fob is a sweet upgrade of Rion Brady's original mono cassette of the early show. That source still has pitch issues, running fast. It needs -1% adjustment for Casey, Mama, Hurts, Rider, Black Peter & Hard to Handle; and needs -2% for China Cat & M&MU. The muddy SBD source has the rest of Dark Star and the late show (just a tad fast, it can use -1% for the first two songs). It has a reel flip cut in Good Lovin' and a cut of 3min36sec @5:29 in The Other One, that's complete on the official. Dave's 10 has the last four of the early show plus TifTOO Suite & Cosmic Charlie of the late show; all in great quality.
June 8, 2017 Subject:
Best Yellow Dog Story I've heard so far.
November 3, 2015 Subject:
Makes you feel like you were there.
Maybe just an average performance for a 1969 show, but the feel is outstanding, they are having a grand old time with zero pressure or pretense. A darn good recording, for what sounds like a mono handheld in a room with 10 or 15 people. Love the girl laughing at Bobby's jokes. This tape is so intimate it lets you go back in time and sit right on the stage. I've had this on cassette since the early 90s, love the reel to reel whirls, cuts and all. What a great piece of history. Late 69 is a such a cool time in their development. They have moved past the super long jams of the 3-1-69 era, the jams are obviously still here, but, IMHO, you can hear the song craft grow and grow from here right up until Port Chester Feb 1971 when they became a rock band. This is not 1969, this is pre 1970, pre-Workingmans, just glorious.
May 7, 2015 Subject:
August 26, 2013 Subject:
I went to this show. The songs are completely out of order. There's even a snippet of the Airplane starting "Somebody to Love" on the tape. The show opened with "Cold Rain and Snow". Ended with a free standing "Lovelight" after a long tuneup.
June 17, 2005 Subject:
69 and the first to review?
good show playing is not as hard hitting as some 69 but good of course,sound is not that bad a hissy but if heard alot worse, 4 for show 3 for sound